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Famous Guitar Gear

Stuart Braithwaite, John Cummings and Mogwai

How’s this for timeliness: Mogwai have two songs which feature references to the holiday season, namely Christmas Song and Christmas/Xmas Steps (yes, I know the latter is named after a street in Bristol but shush). These compositions run the gamut of the Mogwai canon, aptly demonstrating the subtlety and noise which they contrast so well through expert use of their gear.

Stuart Braithwaite is one of the band’s guitarists, occasional bassist and unofficial spokesman. He’s certainly a pleasant chap to talk to, as I discovered when I interviewed him earlier this year. Gear-wise, he’s a big Fender fan, employing a Tele with a Seymour Duncan mini-humbucker in the middle position into a Fender Twin and Marshall JCM900/Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier/Orange amp setup. A couple of Gibson Les Pauls also see use but the Tele is Stuart’s true love. In terms of pedals, there’s a lot going on on the floor, so that’s probably better explained in this interview with Music Radar. For a quick summary, the most important elements are probably the Danelectro Fab Tone, Boss DD-20 and Boss Slicer (for newer material).

Stuart onstage, with John in the distance and Dominic in between (photo: Sam King)

If you want the man with the most guitars in Mogwai, it’s John Cummings. He’s got a whole host of humbucker-equipped Fender Teles, a 1960s Fender Jaguar, Music Man Stingray (in ABCDEF tuning, naturally) and two Fender XII 12-strings. It’s a gorgeous-looking bunch, as you can see in the interview below, again with Music Radar. He runs all this into a 1970s Marshall Superbass Mk. II and a Joe Satriani signature JCM900 with matching 1960 cab, although, being the Satch fan that I am, I question the legitimacy of this signature claim. Way Huge, Death By Audio and Boss distortions, the Electro-Harmonix Holy Stain and the MXR KFK 10-band EQ are amongst his most used pedals.

Other Mogwai band members Barry Burns and Dominic Aitchison also play guitars on tour but, for the most part, it’s Stuart and John taking on axe-men duties. That’s all for Mogwai’s gear and, if anyone has any suggestions for next week’s post, do get in touch!


About Michael Brown

Michael is a journalist, musician and general guitar geek who works for Total Guitar and Guitarist magazines. He also freelances on the side, most often for Drowned in Sound. You can view his work here.


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